Staying fit is very important, especially for your lungs and heart. But what if the only time you can get to the gym is right before your bedtime? Working out before bed has often been advised against, as many misconceptions surround it. Does it disrupt our sleep? Does it render the exercise less effective? You might be surprised to learn that late workout isn’t all that bad for you.
Is Working Out Before Bed Good or Bad?
The most important thing to remember is that working out is necessary – even if you have to work hard to fit it in. It might be the only time that you have to exercise. Working out before bed doesn’t have to be bad, as long as you do it properly. That means not working out too hard, having a small snack after your workout, and taking a shower before bed.
Does Working Out Before Bed Affect My Sleep?
Some people do have trouble falling asleep after exercise. That’s because the adrenaline is flowing and your heart rate is up. The brain is very active after a workout, and your body temperature is up, which can make it tough to fall asleep. If you are one of these people, simply make sure that your exercise is over two hours before your bedtime.
But for some, working out before bed might not affect their sleep at all, or it might actually help them sleep. It’s impossible to know which category you fall into until you try it, so a week of late workout can help give you the answers about how your body will react to the late workout schedule. Normally if the shower after your workout happens within 30 to 60 minutes before your bedtime, the exercise should not affect your sleep.
Timing Your Workouts Properly
The Ideal Time for Cardio
Your body temperature tends to peak in the afternoon, so that might be the best time to get in the hardest workouts such as high-intensity cardio. Your body will have a fitness boost and your performance will be better.
The Ideal Time for Weight Training
In the evening between five and seven, your body is ready for some resistance training and poised to help your recovery. That’s because your body most efficiently uses proteins for body repair during this time.
Tips for Sleeping Better Soon After a Workout
Want to try working out before bed? These tips might help you fall in sleep sooner:
1. Cool down from your workout slowly, letting your breathing come back to normal gradually.
2. When your workout is done, get a cold shower. This will bring your body temperature back down. Don’t stay in too long – five minutes is plenty.
3. Use deep breathing and meditation exercise before bed. This can help lower your adrenaline levels.
4. Calming supplements and essential oils are a good idea. Lavender oil, magnesium powder, kava kava and passionflower extract are all good bets.